From the time I was an awkward 11-year-old, to when I became a full-grown 20-year-old, I remember waking up every day feeling like I wasn't good enough. In my head, I failed to meet standards of how to look or what to weigh. And that negative mindset really hurt me.

I was a three seasoned athlete throughout high school. I enjoyed working out, but I took it too far. I liked eating healthy, but I wasn't educated on how to properly fuel my body. I was my own worst enemy. But eventually, I learned to love myself and developed a healthy mindset about my body image. Here's how I turned things around.

Appreciate and Accept Your Body

We are in charge of how we view ourselves. We can degrade ourselves, or we can choose to value ourselves above everything else, and love every flaw we may have. I know everyone has heard the phrase "we are our own worst critic"—but it's completely true. The more we wish to not be in our own body, the easier it is to let negativity win.

I finally realized that I didn't want to live with that mentality the rest of my life. I didn't want to feel uncomfortable anymore when going out with friends, or be in a constant state of anxiety because of my appearance. I began to appreciate the fact that I can breath, smile, laugh, eat, and love.

It's the little things. Accept where you are in life, and where you are with your body. The only way one can move forward is when you realize that you have control over what you do and how you live.

Daily Affirmations

Change your perspective. Would you say the negative things that you say to yourself in front of your family and friends? A positive mindset begins the minute you get out of bed. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, "I am beautiful" or "I love myself." Take a hot selfie and post it for everyone to see. Embrace who you are.

I suggest starting a body positivity wall, take yourself out on dates, or even write love letters to yourself. Be your own #WomanCrushWednesday or #ManCrushMonday. When I was struggling the most, I began an Instagram account dedicated to food and fitness, @theflexiblefoodie. This continues to serve as a body positive outlet for me.

Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You Up

Be around those who pick you up when you're at your worst, and celebrate with you at your best. As someone who also deals with anxiety, my automatic reaction during the years of my eating disorder were to isolate myself. It was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made because I felt lost.

I didn't know how to help myself or where to turn. Find your support system. Talk about what you are going though with your loved ones because they are there to help. They may not understand what you are feeling, but they love you and will be there every step of the way—no matter how big or small the issue may be. 

Stand Tall and Proud

As I think about the past few years, I am reminded, not only about how far I've come, but how far I have to go. I'm in a WAY better place, but we all have our struggles nonetheless. I handle these struggles with a stronger mindset that allows me to overcome them at my own pace. Because I'm in control. Remember that you are beautiful, and you are capable. Stand tall and proud.